Quotations of Wisdom

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Sargent Shriver

Respect for another man's opinion is worthy. It is the realization that any opinion is valuable, for it is the sign of a rational being. [Q289]


It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. [Q816]

Napoleon Hill

War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man. [Q687]

Václav Havel

There are no exact guidelines. There are probably no guidelines at all. The only thing I can recommend at this stage is a sense of humor, an ability to see things in their ridiculous and absurd dimensions, to laugh at others and at ourselves, a sense of irony regarding everything that calls out for parody in this world. In other words, I can only recommend perspective and distance. Awareness of all the most dangerous kinds of vanity, both in others and in ourselves. A good mind. A modest certainty about the meaning of things. Gratitude for the gift of life and the courage to take responsibility for it. Vigilance of spirit. [Q1770]

Milton S Hershey

We should deal with one another not as classes but as persons, as brothers. The more closely we work together, the more effectively can we contribute to the better health of all mankind; this should be our common objective and its achievement would make the world a happier place in which to live. [Q1390]

Kathleen Parker

Politics - Even when you win an argument based on half-truths, the people lose. [Q1665]

Thomas Paine

When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon. [Q280]

Oliver Wendell Holmes

The world is always ready to receive talent with open arms. Very often it does not know what to do with genius. [Q1086]

Robert Heinlein

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. [Q1207]

Robert J Gula

Before one can use one's reason, one should know the traps that are always awaiting the untutored mind. — Nonsense, Red Herrings, Straw Men and Sacred Cows: How We Abuse Logic in Our Everyday Language. [Q1184]

Henry David Thoreau

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something. [Q58]


Courage consists not in hazarding without fear; but being resolutely minded in a just cause. [Q774]

John Adams (HBO Miniseries)

Our first step would be to incur a national debt. The greater the debt, the greater the credit. And to that end I have recommended to the president that Congress adopt all the debts incurred by the individual states during the war through a national bank. The idea being that if the states owe Congress money, then other nations will feel more inclined to lend it to us. — (Unite or Die[5]) Alexander Hamilton [Q1134]

Václav Havel

We introduced a new model of behavior: don't get involved in diffuse general ideological polemics with the center, to whom numerous concrete causes are always being sacrificed; fight "only" for those concrete causes, and be prepared to fight for them unswervingly, to the end. In other words, don't get mixed up in backroom wheeling and dealing, but play an open game. [Q1775]

Paul Krugman

If hypocrisy is the tribute vice pays to virtue, conservatives often seem inclined to accept that tribute, voting for candidates who publicly espouse conservative moral principles whatever their personal behaviour. [Q1706]

Thomas Jefferson

An association of men who will not quarrel with one another is a thing which has never yet existed, from the greatest confederacy of nations down to a town meeting or a vestry. [Q1372]

Dante Alighieri

Small projects need much more help than great. [Q1513]


There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres. [Q927]

Clarence Darrow

If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think. [Q1100]

Jesus Christ

He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone... [Q1226]

Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy. [Q636]

Mario Cuomo

Poll watching politicians respond with Pavlovian sureness. The touch every button, satisfy every rabid carving with swift passage of draconian and regressive measures. They serve up a binge of new death penalty statutes as though there had suddenly been discovered proof that the death penalty can save lives. [Q1822]

Arthur Miller

A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself. [Q1660]

Scott Nesler

Never let go of your dream and don't assume someone will develop the essence of your thought. Until you see your idea in reality, keep pushing forward. [Q665]

Ivar Giaever

There are many stories circulating about scientists who have sudden flashes of insight seemingly coming from nowhere. The fact is that scientists often become so engrossed in their ideas that they constantly turn them over in their minds whether they drive, eat, sleep, or make love. This ruminating process allows unrelated impulses to trigger associations in the brain, and eureka — An unexpected solution suddenly appears. In 'lateral thinking' this haphazard way of gaining insight is replaced by a deliberate method that, in prescribed and systematic way, solves the problem. — Prologue to Edward de Bono's, I am Right You are Wrong. [Q1986]

Jack Lynch

Arguments over grammar and style are often as fierce as those over IBM versus Mac, and as fruitless as Coke versus Pepsi and boxers versus briefs. [Q2082]

Edward de Bono

an intelligent person may use his or her thinking simply to defend a point of view. The more skilled the defense the less does that person ever see a need to explore the subject, listen to others or generate alternatives. This is poor thinking. (Edward de Bono, I am right, you are wrong, page 19) [Q1996]


Music can change the world because it can change people. [Q635]

Adlai Stevenson

Your days are short here; this is the last of your springs. And now in the serenity and quiet of this lovely place, touch the depths of truth, feel the hem of Heaven. You will go away with old, good friends. And don't forget when you leave why you came. [Q1657]

Episode 109 Snap Judgement

Blind obedience to authority is critical because all of our training as children is in fact to be blindly obedient to authority. The problem is that not all authority deserves our respect. [Q1529]


I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing. [Q761]

Thomas Jefferson

The truth is that the want of common education with us is not from our poverty, but from the want of an orderly system. More money is now paid for the education of a part than would be paid for that of the whole if systematically arranged. [Q535]

Marvin Minsky

If you “understand' something in only one way, then you scarcely understand it at all—because when you get stuck, you'll have nowhere to go. But if you represent something in several ways, then when you get frustrated enough, you can switch among different points of view, until you find one that works for you! — The Emotion Machine, Introduction, page 6. [Q2031]

Buckminster Fuller

We are not going to be able to operate our Spaceship Earth successfully nor for much longer unless we see it as a whole spaceship and our fate as common. It has to be everybody or nobody. [Q115]

Woodrow Wilson

Let me inside the government and I will tell you what is going on there. [Q2027]


At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet. [Q1617]

Italo Calvino

The inferno of the living is not something that will be; if there is one, it is what is already here, the inferno where we live every day, that we form by being together. There are two ways to escape suffering it. The first is easy for many: accept the inferno and become such a part of it that you can no longer see it. The second is risky and demands constant vigilance and apprehension: seek and learn to recognize who and what, in the midst of the inferno, are not inferno, then make them endure, give them space. — Invisible Cities [Q389]

René Descartes

I think; therefore I am. [Q1117]

H. L. Mencken

A newspaper is a device for making the ignorant more ignorant and the crazy crazier. [Q1213]

Woodrow Wilson

There is no higher religion than human service. To work for the common good is the greatest creed. [Q750]

Master Kan

Remember always that a wise man walks with his head bowed; humble like the dust. — Kung Fu television series 1972 [Q513]

George Washington Carver

How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these. [Q315]

John Burroughs

To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life. [Q1316]

Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge. [Q1273]


Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers. [Q495]


You don't know what you don't know until somebody tells you. [Q386]

Sir Francis Bacon

Practical men, like owls, see clearly in the dim twilight of their preconceptions and are blinded by the bright light of truth. [Q1871]

Jared Diamond

We study the injustices of history for the same reason that we study genocide, and for the same reason that psychologists study the minds of murderers and rapists... to understand how those evil things came about. [Q2019]

Václav Havel

The real test of a man is not how well he plays the role he has invented for himself, but how well he plays the role that destiny assigned to him. [Q1774]


Age carries all things away, even the mind. [Q1570]

Anna Quindlen

Ideas are only lethal if you suppress and don't discuss them. Ignorance is not bliss, it's stupid. Banning books shows you don't trust your kids to think and you don't trust yourself to be able to talk to them. [Q709]

Senator Paul Simon

The media often determine priorities for policymakers. If an issue gets big play it captures the attention of those who determine the course of a community, state, or nation; first, because the issue is in the news, it creates public attention and frequently concern; and second, because those in public life know that the oxygen of political survival is attention from the media, and the seldom expressed but widely understood maxim for officeholders is "If they're covering it, I'll comment on it." [Q1733]


No human being will ever know the Truth, for even if they happen to say it by chance, they would not even known they had done so. [Q928]

Adlai Stevenson

There is a spiritual hunger in the world today - and it cannot be satisfied by better cars on longer credit terms. [Q1653]

Marshall McLuhan

I wouldn't have seen it if I hadn't believed it. [Q1460]

Scott Nesler

My hope is in the average citizen's desire for freedom and democracy. It is within these individuals true patriotism exist and where the voice of humanity can be heard. [Q1553]


Thus the sum of things is ever being reviewed, and mortals dependent one upon another. Some nations increase, others diminish, and in a short space the generations of living creatures are changed and like runners pass on the torch of life. [Q1566]


Apply yourself both now and in the next life. Without effort, you cannot be prosperous. Though the land be good, You cannot have an abundant crop without cultivation. [Q875]

Buckminster Fuller

Revolution by design and invention is the only revolution tolerable to all men, all societies, and all political systems anywhere. [Q360]

Benjamin Franklin

If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing. [Q1880]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We but half express ourselves, and are ashamed of that divine idea which each of us represents. [Q471]

Charles Lindbergh

Isn't it strange that we talk least about the things we think about most? [Q1939]

Richard M Nixon

Solutions are not the answer. [Q306]

Donald E. Westlake

All of the changes in publishing since 1960 are significant. There are far fewer publishers. [Q1194]


To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. [Q15]

Russell Simmons

I'm not a politician. I only want to help relieve the suffering in communities, and I want to help people see their community in each other. [Q1310]


The eyes of the soul of the multitudes are unable to endure the vision of the divine. [Q897]

Charles Darwin

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge: it is those who know little, and not those who know much, who so positively assert that this or that problem will never be solved by science. [Q698]

Charles Lindbergh

It is the greatest shot of adrenaline to be doing what you have wanted to do so badly. You almost feel like you could fly without the plane. [Q1938]

Saint Francis of Assisi

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible [Q1400]


All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion, desire. [Q837]

Kathryn Schulz

Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? [Q1398]

Adlai Stevenson III

4700 years ago this was written on an Assyrian tablet: "Our earth is degenerate in these latter days; there are signs that the world is speedily coming to an end; bribery and corruption are common; children no longer obey their parents; every man wants to write a book, and the end of the world is evidently approaching." [Q1872]

Franklin Roosevelt

It is common sense to take a method and try it; if it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. [Q359]

Robert Anton Wilson

Certitude belongs exclusively to those who only own one encyclopedia. [Q83]

Woodrow Wilson

Since I have entered politics I have chiefly had men's views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere. A power so subtle, so organised, so complete and pervasive that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. [Q1971]

Clarence Darrow

The first half of our lives are ruined by our parents and the second half by our children. [Q1107]

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. [Q422]

Jesse Jackson

In politics, an organized minority is a political majority. [Q1549]


Don't take life too seriously. Noone gets out alive. [Q1066]

Scott Nesler

We must move beyond zero to vague solutions provided in a campaign season. [Q1658]

Ward Cunningham

Scott — You seem to have a technical solution to what I might call "dysfunctional divergence" of thought. Blogs encourage divergence, perhaps to the point of dysfunction. Wikis encourage convergence, else edit wars produce dysfunction. There is surely opportunity to invent in the middle ground. — In reference to the Do Good Gauge [Q243]

George Bernard Shaw

Periods of increasing tensions end to become periods of increasing repressions. Soon freedom of speech may become only freedom to say acceptable things. Even thinking, except for the orthodox, may become precarious. [Q1849]


Faced with two evils, must not every man choose? [Q138]

Charles Lindbergh

Man must feel the earth to know himself and recognize his values... God made life simple. It is man who complicates it. [Q1934]


So potent was religion in persuading to evil deeds. [Q1563]

Alexis de Tocqueville

The power of the periodical press is second only to that of the people. [Q964]


Everything has a natural explanation. The moon is not a god, but a great rock, and the sun a hot rock. [Q794]

Deirdre Sullivan

My real battle is doing good versus doing nothing at all. [Q242]

Buckminster Fuller

Computers can remember accurately and can cope with and integrate the vast amounts of all known, relevant information on complex problems, uncopeable with prior to the computer. What we had prior to the computer were respected opinions and only-selfishness-conditioned reflexes on how to cope. Though an opinion might be wrong, there was no practical and convincing way to prove it. Unchallenged , the opinions became respected precedent, then exceptionless concepts, and sometimes even civil and academically accepted social law. [Q123]

David Foster Wallace

It can become an exercise in trying to get the reader to like and admire you instead of an exercise in creative art. [Q983]

Dr. Zaius

I have always known about man. From the evidence, I believe his wisdom must walk hand and hand with his idiocy. His emotions must rule his brain. He must be a warlike creature who gives battle to everything around him, even himself. [Q1602]

Grady Booch

The function of good software is to make the complex appear to be simple. [Q674]

Senator Paul Simon

The Telecommunication Act of 1996 passed overwhelmingly. I cast one of six votes against it. The measure contained some good things, but it opened the door wide for concentrated ownership in radio and television. Since its passage there has been a huge shift in radio toward a few large corporations owning all the major outlets. In St. Louis, for example, six of the fourteen stations are now owned by one corporation that has holdings all over the nation. The value of radio stations shot up after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, and soon the top three corporations in radio ownership had sold everything to one company ... Can I say that up to this point this has caused any harm? No, but it will. — (Paul Simon's Autobiography, page 297) [Q1817]

Nikola Tesla

What we now want most is closer contact and better understanding between individuals and communities all over the earth and the elimination of that fanatic devotion to exalted ideals of national egoism and pride, which is always prone to plunge the world into primeval barbarism and strife. No league or parliamentary act of any kind will ever prevent such a calamity. These are only new devices for putting the weak at the mercy of the strong. [Q1686]


Mind moves matter. [Q1584]

Václav Havel

The attempt to devote oneself to literature alone is a most deceptive thing, and often, paradoxically, it is literature that suffers for it. [Q1752]

Noam Chomsky

If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all. [Q156]

Adlai Stevenson

An Independent is someone who wants to take the politics out of politics. [Q1645]

Leo Tolstoy

There is no greatness where there is no simplicity, goodness and truth. [Q1062]

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